We do it every day and we still haven’t understood how damaging it is for us and our relationships:
Expecting that the other person has to know something, without you telling him or her.
This is applies to any communication between people – you and your colleague, boss, friend, mom, girlfriend, … You need to say things, and then expect something to happen. If you don’t say anything, how can you expect something?
Still, we do it every day. We expect our partner to know that we’re bored and that he should send us a message. To anticipate that we’ll be hungry when we come home and have a meal prepared. Our manager to see that we feel sick and want to go home an hour earlier. We expect our friends to be there when we need them, although they have no idea that we’re just now a bit sad and would need to chat about it.
And then we’re disappointed. And sometimes mean. Is he doing it on purpose? Is she perhaps not the girl I should be with? Is my manager pretending she doesn’t see me? Shouldn’t my friend just be there when I need him?
No. Forget about it. You have seen too many movies of a certain kind.
I think that romantic movies have done quite some damage to romantic souls watching them. In movies he always knows what you need. She always says the right thing.
In movies yes.
In life not.
Others just can’t read your mind. Full stop.
Sure, there are some empathic people who often say the right things in the right situations. Those who see your face and imagine what’s going on with you. But even those need you to speak to them, to say how you feel and what you expect of them.
You want something? Say it. You want the other person to know how you feel? Say it. You want a pay rise? Say it. You want to hang out with your friend? Say it.
I know that it’s beautiful when two people communicate and understand each other without saying a word. Those moments are special and we should value them and consider them as something special. For all the other moments words have to do the job.
I myself have done and still keep doing this mistake. When I think that it’s so obvious and still, the other person doesn’t get it. First I’m upset about him or her. I sometimes even wonder if there is a bad intention behind it. But then I realise that I am just victimising myself. I realise that I haven’t communicated it explicitly. I expected her to read my mind.
With this I’ll finish today’s article.
Great relationships are based on great communication.
It isn’t as nice as in movies.
But it works.
Try it out.